For the third straight year, CenterStage was commissioned to produce Christmas for Christ 2012 for the UPCI Wisconsin District’s Home Missions Department. For this short, we were asked to showcase Rev. Christopher Jansen and Pathway Apostolic Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “He’s got a good thing going on up there,” is about all the information we were given. So we decided to call the Jansens and find out what was happening with their family the Pathway congregation.
GETTING THE SCOOP
We quickly learned that Pathway’s congregation had been in the process of renovating a vacant 150-year old cornerstone church for the past three months and intended to discontinue, on August 26th, rental of a gymnasium where they had been holding Sunday morning services for the past two years. Every service held in the gymnasium had required complete setup and tear down the morning of the service by a crew of about ten, including Jansen. Having their own building would completely eliminate this process and would immediately provide significantly greater expansion possibilities. We also learned that the Jansens had sacrificed jobs for full-time ministry and were giving up their home to be able to pay for the new building.
FORMULATING A PLAN
Hearing this, we were able to formulate an initial strategy for this production. We first wanted to highlight the setup process with time lapse photography to show the effort this church had to put forth every Sunday morning just to hold a service. We also wanted to document the Jansens' journey from full-time employment to full-time ministry, showcase the church’s past assembling venues, and highlight the home the Jansens were leaving behind. After that, we would then shoot various scenes of the congregation finalizing the construction of their new building and film its inaugural service.
FILMING THE STORY
So on the morning of August 26th, we packed up our cameras and drove up to Oshkosh. We captured over 800 stills during the 30-minute Sunday morning service setup that would serve as the foundation for a seven second time lapse clip during the final video. What we hadn’t counted on was the incredible dynamism that would be present during Rev. Jansen’s preaching. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to capture something special, we quickly mounted a camera on a Redrock Micro shoulder mount kit and started filming.
At the conclusion of this service, we drove to various locations in Oshkosh to help build the Pathway Apostolic Church story. Two weeks later, we returned for a Saturday/Sunday weekend filming session to capture the final building renovations and the inaugural service in the new church.
BUILDING THE STORY
We entered post with about 10 hours of footage that needed to be evaluated and assembled into a coherent story reflecting the sacrifices the Jansens had made over the course of several years. After evaluating footage from the first service which we did not intend to film (except for the time lapse portion), we decided to assemble a promotional edit, which can be seen here: vimeo.com/64773675, that would drive greater attention to the final story that was slated to be delivered mid-November. We worked with one of our favorite composers, Steve Lemaire, and obtained permission to remix and use one of his original compositions for the bulk of the soundtrack for both the promo edit and the final edit. We added subtitles to the final project prior to distributing Christmas for Christ 2012 on DVD to 100 churches throughout Wisconsin.
Pathway Apostolic Church
Rev. Christopher Jansen, Pastor
549 Washington Avenue
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901
Abundant Life Apostolic Church
Rev. Rick Kielley, Pastor
Director Wisconsin District Home Missions
995 S. Sawyer Road
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066
Rev. Daniel Bonnin, Assistant Pastor
Rocky Hinton, Elder
Don Rasmussen, Technical Production
Aaron Runkle, Technical Production